A Great Reckoning
by Louise Penny

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Instant New York Times bestseller:

#1 in Hardcover Fiction
#1 in E-book Fiction
#1 in Combined Print and E-book Fiction

"Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."
The Washington Post

- The New York Times Book Review

- People

A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level."
St. 

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More About A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

Instant New York Times bestseller:

#1 in Hardcover Fiction
#1 in E-book Fiction
#1 in Combined Print and E-book Fiction

"Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."
The Washington Post

- The New York Times Book Review

- People

A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.
Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Surete du Quebec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Surete academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protegee of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.

From our buyer, Margaret Terwey: "If you haven't read Louise Penny yet, you have some catching up to do! A Great Reckoning is book #12 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. You can start with A Great Reckoning, and you'll enjoy it, especially if you like your mystery with a good dose of food, wine and history. You will quickly become addicted to this series and will want to binge read the previous books!"

  • ISBN-13: 9781250022134
  • ISBN-10: 1250022134
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Traditional

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-05-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

The lyrical 12th entry (after 2015’s The Nature of the Beast) in bestseller Penny’s remarkable series, which has won multiple Agatha awards, finds former Chief Insp. Armand Gamache coming out of retirement to clean up the corrupt Süreté Academy du Québec. When an old map is found hidden in the wall of a bistro in Three Pines, the remote village in which Gamache and his wife live, the locals treat it as only an interesting artifact. But Gamache uses the mystery of the map’s origin to engage the interest of four cadets at the academy who are in particular danger of going astray. When someone fatally shoots Serge Leduc, a sadistic, manipulative professor, a copy of the map is found in Leduc’s bedside table, and suspicion falls on the four cadets and Gamache himself. As the story unfolds, a web of connections, past and present, comes to light. This complex novel deals with universal themes of compassion, weakness in the face of temptation, forgiveness, and the danger of falling into despair and cynicism over apparently insurmountable evils. Author tour. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Aug.)

BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: American fishermen snared in Cuba's net

State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker returns in a late summer beach read, Ghosts of Havana, the third in Todd Moss’ diplomatic thriller series. Ryker is summoned to intervene on behalf of four American sport fishermen who have strayed into Cuban territorial waters and promptly been arrested by the Cuban navy. As in real life, the Cuban situation is complicated, and there are powerful forces on both sides of the U.S./Cuba reconciliation issue. Ryker finds himself in the middle of something much more sensitive and multilayered than the simple rescue mission he had anticipated. And Ryker is no Jason Bourne; he’s kind of professorial, preferring negotiation over pyrotechnics every time. His wife, a CIA operative, is cut from different cloth, however. And although they have sworn never to work on the same case again, they’re finding themselves drawn into the vortex of this delicate situation. Moss brings a wealth of personal experience to his narrative; he was deputy assistant secretary of state, at one time responsible for relations with 16 West African countries. Now he works in a D.C. think tank and serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University—lofty credentials indeed, and put to very good use in his writing.

Hercule Poirot, perhaps the greatest detective of all time, once again twirls his luxurious mustache in consternation as he sifts through obscure clues and red herrings in Sophie Hannah’s second homage to Agatha Christie (with whom she shares the writing credit), Closed Casket. Poirot is summoned to the Ireland home of Lady Athelinda Playford, a novelist of some note, where he is to bear witness to a dramatic change in her will, in which she will disinherit her children and leave the entirety of her considerable estate to Joseph Scotcher, her personal secretary who is in the final stages of terminal kidney disease. The point becomes somewhat moot that very evening, when someone uses an antique club to bash poor Scotcher’s head in. There are suspects aplenty: Playford’s children and their significant others; the young woman recently betrothed to the victim; a pair of solicitors; Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool; an assortment of household staff; and of course the redoubtable M. Poirot. As in the best of locked-room mysteries, the killer must be one of them, but which one? For those who grew up devouring the Poirot mysteries, Closed Casket seems like the latest in an unbroken chain. You’ll totally forget that you’re not reading something straight from the (ghostly) pen of Dame Agatha.

Regular readers of Ken Bruen’s moderne noir series featuring Irish ex-cop Jack Taylor will find lots to like in his latest dark thriller, The Emerald Lie. Together with sociopathic (perhaps psychopathic) Em/Emily/Emerald, the femme fatale who bedeviled Taylor in 2015’s Green Hell, he pursues a serial killer nicknamed the Grammarian, who lethally targets people who misuse the Queen’s English. To simply describe the setup of the plot is to pay short shrift to Bruen’s prodigious writing skills. His books are atmospheric to the max, albeit an atmosphere redolent of Irish damp and chill. His characters are fueled by avarice, obsession and Jameson whiskey. His writing is peppered with world-weary and witty observations, and it’s nigh impossible to read a Bruen book without unearthing new music to listen to, TV shows to watch, books to read—such is Taylor’s devotion to, or perhaps reliance upon, pop culture. It’s simply not to be missed. That is all.

Three Pines, Québec, is a town straight out of a Currier & Ives lithograph, a town where everyone knows one another as intimately as extended family, a town where secrets do not remain secrets for long. Think Bedford Falls of It’s a Wonderful Life, modernized and Frenchified un petite peu. It’s the home of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec, now back to work as head of the notoriously corrupt Sûreté Academy after a foiled attempt at retirement. A Great Reckoning, the 12th Gamache novel from legendary Canadian novelist Louise Penny, centers on an old map found hidden in the wall of a Three Pines bistro. Dismissed by some as just a curiosity, a copy of the map shows up in the bedside table of a murdered man, casting immediate suspicion on a small group of Academy cadets—and on Gamache as well, as there was no love lost between Gamache and the sadistically corrupt victim. The magic of Penny’s books lies in the details: the intricacies of the relationships; the vivid rendering of small village life; the thematic overlays of weakness vs. power, malleable youth vs. world-weary experience and corruption vs. innate honesty.


This article was originally published in the September 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews